The adhesive holding the edge banding on plastic laminate countertops can come loose over time, making it easy to break the brittle material if it’s not repaired promptly.

Start by trying to reactivate the old adhesive, here’s how to go about it.

How to reactivate plastic laminate adhesive:

    1. Place a cloth over the edging.
    1. Use a household clothes iron on the cloth to heat the edging while pressing firmly.
  1. Allow the surface to cool, then test to see if the edging is attached.

Using a clothes iron to heat loose laminate edge strip to reattach it to countertop.
Using a clothes iron to reattach laminate edge strip.

If heating the adhesive doesn’t work, you’ll have reglue the laminate with contact cement. As the name implies, contact cement bonds two surfaces together on contact. Here’s how to go about it.

How to reglue plastic laminate edging:

    1. Carefully pull the laminate edging away from the countertop without breaking it.
    1. Apply a thin coat of contact cement to both the laminate edging and the countertop.
    1. Use a pencil or Popsicle stick to keep the two surfaces from touching for 15-30 minutes while the cement dries.
    1. After the sheen on the cement has become dull, carefully align and join the two surfaces together.
  1. Use a roller or block of wood to firmly press the edge banding to the countertop.

Using a pencil to hold plastic laminate edging away from countertop while contact cement dries.
Regluing laminate edging using contact cement.

Watch this video to find out more.

Further Information

Danny Lipford: Lori-anne is asking, “One of the edges of our laminate countertops is loose. How can I reattach it?”

If you have any edging on your plastic laminate countertop that’s come loose, I would suggest fixing it as soon as possible. Now, it may be very easy by reactivating the glue by putting a cloth over it and using a regular household iron to heat up the piece of countertop. And that may be all that’s necessary.

If not, you may have to go to a very unique type of adhesive called contact cement. Now, usually a small bottle—like this—will have a brush already built in. And you’ll have to apply the contact cement to both surfaces, and here’s where it gets unique.

You want to make sure you keep those surfaces apart by using either a wooden pencil, or maybe a Popsicle stick, so that they’re not touching for 15 to 30 minutes until the contact cement glosses over.

Then you can bond them together, but once you put those two surfaces together, there’s no adjustment.

Editorial Contributors
Danny Lipford

Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio,, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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